This Thematic Research Summary on urban transport aims to provide the reader with a synthesis of results of completed European research projects related to urban transport. It consists of two main parts. The first part includes a brief overview of the scope of the theme and summarises the main policy developments at EU level relevant to the theme. The second part contains a synthesis of the main findings and policy implications from research projects and identifies the implications for further research.
Urban Transport is concerned with passenger and freight transport internal to built-up areas, and those trips having at least one end in an urban area. Typically wholly urban trips are no longer than 15 km. The main elements of urban transport are motorised private traffic, public transport, non-motorised transport, service vehicle traffic, last-mile freight traffic.
The challenges and related options for intervention in urban transport are discussed in a number of policy papers issued by the European Commission, the earliest being the 1995 Citizens’ Network Green Paper, the latest being the Green Paper “Towards a new culture for urban mobility”. In the light of the subsidiarity principle the EU must play a facilitating role without imposing top-down solutions which may not be appropriate for the diverse local situations. Thus the EU promotes the exchange of good practice and the harmonisation of technical standards, provides research funds, and adopts legislation. The European Commission is currently preparing an Action Plan on Urban Mobility.